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Tablet Computers – a Boon to Business, or Not?

tablet computers in pharmaceutical industry

Since the use of tablet computers became commonplace earlier this decade they have been deployed in many industries with an expectation that they would increase productivity. A new study on their use in the pharmaceutical industry has looked closely at the benefits that have been achieved.

Across the pharmaceutical industry, iPads have become commonplace for field-based medical roles such as medical science liaisons (MSLs) that present scientific information to thought leaders and other physicians. This technology shift – away from laptops and toward tablets – has not always translated into increased effectiveness for MSL interactions.

A new Best Practices, LLC study found that only a third of participants said they had experienced either slight or great improvement of thought leader call quality since deploying iPads to MSLs; 57% said call quality has stayed the same.

However, the most common key performance indicator used by study participants to measure iPad effectiveness among MSLs was the number of scientific presentations delivered. And by that measure, participants said they felt the iPad had improved MSL effectiveness. A majority of study participants (59%) said there had been an increase in the number of scientific presentations delivered since the deployment of iPads to MSLs, according to the study.

To help medical affairs leaders improve the effectiveness of their MSLs’ utilization of iPads or other tablets, Best Practices, LLC engaged 22 leaders from 16 biopharmaceutical companies and two medical device firms to participate in a benchmarking survey.

The resulting 47-page report – Deploying the iPad or Android-Based Tablet to Medical Science Liaison Teams: Benchmarking Training and Effectiveness – is focused on valuable metrics surrounding iPad field usage as well as the utilization of CRM and CLM software for increased productivity. Leaders responsible for field medical roles such as MSLs can use this study to more effectively evaluate their utilization of iPads and to adopt proven tactics for improving the effectiveness of MSL interactions.

Key topics addressed in this report include:

  • Extent of iPad Implementation
  • Effective iPad Training Approaches
  • iPad Content Delivery and Usage
  • CRM Integration, Security and Compliance
  • Measuring Effectiveness of iPad Utilization

To access the full report or to download a complimentary summary containing insights found in this report, click on the following link:

For related research, visit the Best Practices, LLC Web site at

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